Following Steps and Directions

Is your school preparing for state exams?  In New York State students in grade 3 and above will take their English Language Arts exams next month.  Although I am not working with anyone in the testing grades this year, I wanted to share with you an activity I did last year with my 3rd and 4th graders that stepped away from paper and pencil and/or filling in bubbles on an answer sheet.  

The students I worked with last year had difficulty answering questions related to passages that required them to follow directions.  They had trouble with questions that asked things such as, "In which step..." or "What happens right after/before..."  

So to help practice this, I created this little game-like activity for them to read a short passage that included steps or directions.  They then had to select a card that listed a multiple choice question, worded in a way that they may see it on the state test.  There are four different passages, with 8 question cards to go along with each.  They are fun little passages, with simple topics:
"Making a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich" 
"How to Jump Rope"
"Brushing Your Teeth"
"How to Send a Letter in the Mail" 

(Click on the picture below!)

They really enjoyed this activity!  It provided them with practice reading passages and answering multiple choice questions without sitting and filling in bubbles, while exposing them to the vocabulary they may encounter on the actual test.

What are some fun ways you help your students prepare for tests?